Recently, I had the pleasure of attending an 2014 National Swimming Championships in Irvine, CA, hosted by USA Swimming SwimToday and Momtrends #momtrendsswim. A great event where we were given a full behind the scenes access to the biggest US Swim Competition. I'm talking the best of the best were there competing (Phillips, Locke, Missy Franklin) It was incredible being this close to the starting blocks of some amazing competitors.During the event, I had the chance to speak to the Mary Gen Ledecky. She is the mother of Katie Ledecky the 17 year old Olympic gold medalist (15 yrs old in London Olympics) that is breaking all kinds of world records in freestyle. She's Incredible! In any case, I got to talk to her Mom about how she got Katie into swimming and how she made the leap from recreational swimming to competitive swimming. It made me happy to hear her side and how she was just trying to keep the kids active and stay cool in the DC summers so they joined the summer swim team. No pushing, just letting it progress how it should. AWESOME!We then took a few minutes and listened to Dara Torres. You know the 5 time Olympian and mother. She has gotten involved with the SwimToday Campaign encouraging more kids to join swim teams. They are loooking to bring swim to the top of the list of sports to choose from when parents are getting kids involved in sports. She talked about being on the mother side of the sport these days and that she had to do all the things we have to to find out where to swim in her area to not pushing her daughter too hard and letting the coaches do what they need to do. She also brought up some great points about the sport in that your kid is never sitting on the bench. The injury rate is small. Also, even though you're the kids are individually swimming, they are a team and depending on the size of the team, the points earned by a 6 year old are equally as important as the 14 year olds in some cases, and so everyone is cheering for everyone else. LOVE THAT! All great points I had not thought about before!After that we all headed out to the practice pool where we each had some one-on-one time with Dara asking her questions. My favorite was "How did it go when your daughter comes to her first practice and the coach sees behind her, her mom Dara Torres 5-time Olympian" She laughed and said that she sits in the stand just like the other parents. 🙂 She then got into her suit and all the kids got a fun lesson in the water from Dara. What a pretty special event.
It really has opened my eyes to a sport that I have to confess, I have only thought about for my kids from the water safety stand point, not from the competitive stand point. That's changed and I'm so excited about that!
Thanks USA Swimming and SwimToday for the great day!